Locals Party With Police in Brooklyn

While some have criticized the New York City Police Department for it’s “stop and frisk” practices, at this month’s “National Night Out Against Crime,” local businesses and residents from several communities celebrated with the 61st Precinct in Brooklyn and some expressed support for the tactic, reported The Russian Reklama. Excerpts from the article are translated below. 

Photo by Alexander Sirotin / The Russian Reklama

Every August, police precincts hold a kind of annual open house. It is called the “National Night Out Against Crime,” and is intended to unite cops and the public in the battle against crime.

At the 61st Precinct on the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue W, the front porch became a children’s playground, and in the backyard, local restaurants fed all attendees for free. Judging by the long line, juicy burgers cooked by the owner of the Czar restaurant Edward Gitlin were a hit that night. Bottled water was supplied by the Cherry Hill Market, the most popular store in Sheepshead Bay. Fruits were served by Edible Arrangements, and candies by a chocolate factory called Spartak that presented gift boxes of chocolate candies to all the officers, including the Commander of the 61st Precinct, Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas, who in his turn gave his sweets to the kids.

“I’m very glad that so many people joined us tonight,” said Mastrokostas. “We would like to have good neighborly relations with the residents of this area. After all, we have a common goal to make police service as effective as possible.”

Chinese, Hindus, Jews, Russians and other nationalities came to visit the cops.

Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo pointed out the importance of cooperation between the local community and the police.

“This event has been held throughout the country for 29 years,” she said. “Thirty-seven million Americans attended it last year. Unfortunately the crime rate keeps going up in the country. More often crime incidents involve firearms. That’s why the teamwork of the public and police is so important today.”

Attorneys from the Levin & Weisberg law firm came to support the police.

“Lawyers are no different than any residents of this area and other members of the community,” explained Alex Levin.

“Times are really scary now,” added Igor Weisberg. “Look what’s happening. A man armed to the teeth shot up the audience in a movie theater. Another man with a gun in his hand came to a temple and killed its worshipers. I am sure that if people would be less afraid of the police and assist them, then life in our cities would be much safer.”…

Simha Felder, a former city councilman and former deputy comptroller who is running for the State Senate said: “New Yorkers are going through tough times: the worse the economy is, the more unemployed, the higher the crime rate. Regarding the battle against crime, some mayoral candidates suggest limits to the police’s right to stop suspicious people and strip-search them. On the contrary, the Jewish community as well as others support Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and his methods of fighting crime. If we want to feel safe when we go to the movies, theaters, churches, and parks then we have to help the police.”…

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